• 70°

County accepts church’s offer for former DSS building

Rowan County Commissioners on Monday voted to sell a building that formerly housed a division of Social Services to a church.

The church will pay $300,000. That’s considerably less than the property’s assessed tax value, but the congregation’s offer was the only one of the county received.

Faith Assembly International Church made the offer in September for the county-owned building at 1236 W. Innes St. Its offer was significantly below the building’s $1.2 million tax valuation. Commissioners, however, unanimously accepted the church’s offer and said it might be the only chance the county has to offload the property, which has stood vacant for some time.

Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds briefly pondered whether it would be feasible to knock down the 30,000-square-foot building and sell the property as an empty parcel. Demolition would cost up to $200,000. Commissioners would then need a $500,000 offer just to receive the same financial gain, Edds said.

In response, Commissioner Craig Pierce spoke about the odd layout of the building.

“It’s actually three buildings tied together and not on the same elevation,” he said. “You’d travel inside the front door, go up the steps to the left, go down the steps to the right. It’s not an efficient building for most people to use.”

Pierce and Commissioner Mike Caskey both said a church might be the only suitable use for the building.

Pierce, when contemplating the effect of rejecting the offer, cited electric bills and landscaping needs such as mowing the grass as continued costs would continue to incur.

“Just how much longer are wer going to put out money on this piece of property with no return?” he asked. “I think our chances of getting another offer close to $300,000 are slim to none.”

Commissioners Vice Chairman Jim Greene said the $300,000 price symbolized what the market was willing to pay for the building.

After the church made an initial offer on the property, Rowan County was required to wait 10 days for any follow-up offers because of the method chosen for the sale. Commissioners chose to use the upset bid process, which is similar to an auction. No other offers were received.

“We’ve done what we could have and should have for this property,” Greene said. “I hope these folks take it and do well with it as a church. I don’t see that there’s anything else we can do other than sit on it and pay upkeep on a vacant building that’s already been sitting there for six, seven, eight or ten years.”

Following Greene’s comments, Pierce made a motion to sell the building. Commissioner Judy Klusman seconded the motion. It passed without opposition.

In other action Monday, commissioners:

• Approved construction documents for renovations to space for the Board of Elections and Veterans Services at West End Plaza.

Discussion about the construction work was limited. A representative of ADW Architects — the company supervising work at the West End Plaza — showed commissioners floor plans for the new space. County Manager Aaron Church briefly talked about financial costs associated with the project, which also includes replacing one third of West End Plaza’s roof.

Citing cost estimates from a facilities master plan completed early this year, Church said the entire first phase of construction work at West End Plaza — Veterans Services, Board of Elections and roof — would be about $2.3 million.

However, Church said the estimate is higher than the likely final cost. It would be closer to the approximately $1.8 million the county has budgeted for the work, he said. The projected excess expenditures are a result of inflation factored into the master plan’s projects, he said.

Monday’s agenda documents state construction work on West End Plaza would be done by May 2016.

• Picked Hickory-based McGill Associates to oversee construction work on a county-owned water and sewer system.

• Approved a rezoning near the Town of Cleveland.

Specifically, commissioners rezoned 1.8 acres of land on Old U.S. Highway 70 from manufactured home park to the rural agricultural designation.

• Picked Jan 7 and 8 to hold a retreat.

Contact Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246



Rowan Wild’s animal camp makes a comeback at Dan Nicholas Park


Health officials say financial incentives helped vaccination rates; lottery drawing today

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry adopts budget that keeps tax rate flat


Airport Advisory committee endorses plans for expansion at Mid-Carolina Regional

China Grove

China Grove will celebrate 40th Farmers Day with week full of festivities


Pistons win in NBA draft lottery; Hornets will get 11th pick


Officers in Locust arrest drivers who tried to flee; one was on motorcycle reported stolen from Rowan


Panel OKs NC Senate budget bill; Dems pan policy provisions


Letter: Journalist won’t join UNC faculty without tenure


Chase from Mooresville ends with crash at Rowan Mill Road; two charged


Dearmons gift two public art sculptures to city of Kannapolis


Blotter: Woman’s camper stolen from side of I-85


Local scouts sweep NC American Legion awards


As demand lessens slightly, local homebuilders work through challenges to deliver dwellings


Commissioners name Newberry Hall House county’s newest historic landmark


Senate budget uses NC revenue boon on more tax cuts, capital


Livingstone College alumna Quanera Hayes makes U.S. Olympic Team after first-place finish in 400-meter race


Blotter: June 21

Ask Us

Ask Us: What is status of ‘speed table’ on Charles Street in Spencer?


East Rowan High graduate killed in motorcycle crash


Political Notebook: Gov. Cooper vetoes Ford-backed bill allowing firearms at churches that are also schools


Blotter: June 20


Body of fourth tuber, age 7, found in North Carolina river


8 kids in youth van among the 13 lives lost to Claudette